6.7/10
6
1 user 1 critic

Mensch ohne Namen (1932)

After being seriously wounded in WW1, Heinrich Martin's memory was wiped out for years: he neither knew his name nor what kind of life he led. Now, suddenly, everything has come back to him.

Director:

Gustav Ucicky
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Werner Krauss ... Heinrich Martin
Helene Thimig ... Eva-Maria Sander
Mathias Wieman ... Dr. Alfred Sander
Hertha Thiele ... Helene Martin
Julius Falkenstein ... Julius Hanke
Fritz Grünbaum ... Erwin Gablinky
Eduard von Winterstein Eduard von Winterstein ... Amtsrichter
Max Gülstorff Max Gülstorff ... Amtsgerichtspresident
Maria Bard Maria Bard ... Grete Schulze
Hans Brausewetter ... Referendar Müller
Carl Balhaus Carl Balhaus
Alfred Beierle
Ernst Behmer Ernst Behmer
Gerhard Bienert
Gregori Chmara
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Storyline

After being seriously wounded in WW1, Heinrich Martin's memory was wiped out for years: he neither knew his name nor what kind of life he led. Now, suddenly, everything has come back to him.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

Germany

Language:

German

Release Date:

1 July 1932 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

The Man Without a Name See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universum Film (UFA) See more »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Tobis-Klangfilm)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Alternate-language version of Un homme sans nom (1932) See more »

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User Reviews

 
German soap opera
21 December 2002 | by F Gwynplaine MacIntyreSee all my reviews

'Mensch ohne Namen' ('Man without a Name') is based on a Balzac novel, but it reminds me of the true story of the French soldier Martin Guerre, whose homecoming inspired at least two movies (not counting this one) and a London stage musical. The fact that the main character in this movie is surnamed Martin only adds to the similarity. Fortunately, 'Man without a Name' features impressive performances by Werner Krauss and by Helen Thimig.

Helen Thimig was the wife (and sometimes leading lady) of the great Austrian stage director Max Reinhardt, but she was a successful and prolific actress in her own right. If not for her thick accent, Thimig probably could have had a successful Hollywood career. (She ended up typecast in supporting roles in a few post-war films.)

Krauss plays Heinrich Martin: before the war, he was a German businessman who owned a profitable automobile factory. Conscripted into the Kaiser's army in 1914, he is forced to part company with his wife Eva-Maria (Thimig), not realising she is pregnant. On the Russian front, Krauss became an artillery lieutenant. He was reported killed in action in 1916, and was officially declared dead in 1921. But in fact, he sustained shell-shock and developed amnesia. Now, in the present (1932), he suddenly regains his memory and goes home. Aware that his belated return might cause problems, Martin does not reveal his true identity.

In Germany, Martin learns that his wife has married Herr Doktor Sandler, Martin's former friend. Not only has Dr Sandler taken Martin's wife, but he has also taken over Martin's automobile factory! The Sandlers have a beautiful daughter Helene, 17 years old. There's a touching scene between Krauss and Hertha Thiele (as Helene) when Martin realises that Helene Sandler is actually his own daughter. There's also a good performance by Maria Bard as a secretary who is sympathetic to Martin.

'Man without a Name' is too slow and turgid for modern audiences. I enjoyed Krauss's acting, but I would have enjoyed the plotline more if it weren't so similar to 'The Return of Martin Guerre'. I'll rate this early German sound film only 4 points out of 10.


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